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World of Warships Supertest: French Tier IX cruiser Brest

6 min read

Historical background

Brest (and with a strong R please you bunch of horny boys) is somewhat in a weird spot when it comes to historical background. Considering the secondary armament and the illogical superstructure, I would categorize it as a pure what-if from Wargaming. We are talking about a ship built around an armament from the mid/late 1930s but somehow, her superstructure is at best, straight from the late 1920s.

As I see it, it is an up-gunned version of the 17 500 tons battlecruiser design and fitted with 330 mm guns. However, I was reminded that there was a preliminary version of the Dunkerque-class that could roughly fit the general characteristics of Brest. The problem is that with the mess that are the French archives, we know very little about this specific preliminary design.

Just like Cherbourg, Brest features an all-forward main battery with some of the biggest guns you can find among cruisers. However, she suffers from a very long main battery reload time and one of the worst dispersions for a cruiser. Her secondary battery is quite extensive and with an improved dispersion similar to Massachusetts or Schlieffen.
Other than that, she is thinly protected for a battlecruiser, except for the main belt.
Finally, she is equipped with a Main Battery Reload Booster and a 20% Engine Boost.

Ship’s preview

Ship’s camouflage

The turrets aren’t supposed to be black. They are missing textures for some reason.

For the classic reminder, this is a ship in testing, anything can change so don’t look at her like she would already be released.

Modules

Hull
Engine
Gun Fire Control System
Main battery

icon_module_Hull_installed

Brest (A)

icon_module_Engine_installed

Propulsion: 100 000 HP

icon_module_Suo_installed

‎‎PCA n° 9 Mle 1

icon_module_Artillery_installed

330 mm/50 Mle 1931 on a St.Chamond Mle 1932 mount

icon_module_Hull_installed

‎Brest (B)

icon_module_Suo_installed

‎‎PCA n° 9 Mle 2

STOCK SHIP

General Characteristics

Tier IX
Health 50 100 HP
Torpedo Damage Reduction 19 %
Displacement 26 662 tons
Dimensions
Overall length 213.42 m
Beam 27.66 m
Overall height (keel to the highest point on the ship) 25.62 m
Freeboard 5.71 m
Main Armament
Maximum Firing Range 16.560 km
330 mm/50 Mle 1931 on a St.Chamond Mle 1932 mount 2 x 4 330 mm
Secondary Armament
Maximum Firing Range 7.950 km
139 mm/50 Mle 1938 on an Mle 1938 mount 8 x 2 139 mm
Maximum speed 31.5 knots
Turning Circle Radius 720 m
Rudder Shift Time 18.2 s
Surface Detectability 15.1 km
Air Detectability 10.53 km
Detectability After Firing Main Guns in Smoke 12.38 km

Main Armament

2 x 4 330 mm/50 Mle 1931 on a St.Chamond Mle 1932 mount
 Maximum Firing Range 16.560 km
 Reloading Time 25.0 s
180 Degree Turn Time 36.0 s
Optimal firing angles at the front
Optimal firing angles at the rear 38°
Sigma 1.80 sigma
Maximum Dispersion 187 m
Shells
Type of Projectile  HE – 330 mm HE OEA Mle 1935
Alpha Damage 4 800
Penetration capacity  55 mm
Explosion size 1.91
Fire chance 35 %
Projectile Speed 885 m/s
Air Drag 0.293
Projectile Mass 385.0 kg
Type of Projectile AP – 330 mm AP OPfK Mle 1935
Alpha Damage 9 700
Projectile Speed 870 m/s
Air Drag 0.28
Projectile Mass 560.0 kg
Projectile Krupp 2 428
Projectile Detonator 0.033 s
Detonator threshold 55 mm
Ricochet Angles 45° – 60°

Secondary Armament

8 x 2 139 mm/50 Mle 1938 on an Mle 1938 mount
Maximum Firing Range 7.950 km
Reloading Time 7.0 s
Sigma 1.0 sigma
Shells
Type of Projectile HE – 139 mm HE OEA Mle 1928
Alpha Damage 2 000
HE penetration 23 mm
Explosion Size 0.5
Chance to Cause Fire 10 %
Projectile Speed 840 m/s
Air Drag 0.234
Projectile Mass 40.2 kg

Anti-air Armament

8 x 2 139 mm/50 Mle 1938 on an Mle 1938 mount
Sector range 0.1 km – 6.0 km
Hit chance 90 %
Sector’s damage 42
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 147
Flak clouds number 6
Flak cloud damage 1 680
8 x 2 40 mm Bofors on a Mk.1 mount
Sector range 0.1 km – 3.5 km
Hit chance 90 %
Sector’s damage 45
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 158
18 x 1 20 mm Oerlikon on a Mk.4 mount
Sector range 0.1 km – 2.0 km
Hit chance 85 %
Sector’s damage 39
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 137

Consumables

Slot 1
Slot 2
Slot 3
Slot 4
Slot 5
Damage Control Party
consumable_PCY009_CrashCrewPremiumWork time: 5 s
Cooldown: 60 s
Defensive AA Fire

Number of charges: 3
Work time: 40 s
Cooldown: 80 s
Damage from continuous DPS: +50%
Damage from flak explosions: +300%
Fighter
Number of charges: 3
Work time: 60 s
Cooldown: 90 s
Number of fighters: 4
Patrol radius: 3.0 km
Repair Party
Number of charges: 3
Work time: 28 s
Cooldown: 80 s
HP regeneration speed: +0.5%/s
Casemate damage regeneration: 50%
Citadel damage regeneration: 33%
Main Battery Reload Booster
Number of charges: 4
Work time: 15 s
Cooldown: 80 s
Effect: -50% Main battery reload time
Hydroacoustic Search
consumable_PCY016_SonarSearchPremiumNumber of charges: 3
Work time: 100 s
Cooldown: 120 s
Torpedo spotting range: 3.5 km
Ship spotting range: 5.0 km
Engine Boost
Number of charges: 3
Work time: 180 s
Cooldown: 90 s
Speed bonus: +20%

FULLY UPGRADED SHIP

General Characteristics

Tier IX
Health 55 300 HP
Torpedo Damage Reduction 19 %
Displacement 30 390 tons
Dimensions
Overall length 213.42 m
Beam 27.66 m
Overall height (keel to the highest point on the ship) 25.62 m
Freeboard 5.71 m
Main Armament
Maximum Firing Range 18.216 km
330 mm/50 Mle 1931 on a St.Chamond Mle 1932 mount 2 x 4 330 mm
Secondary Armament
Maximum Firing Range 7.950 km
139 mm/50 Mle 1938 on an Mle 1938 mount 8 x 2 139 mm
Maximum speed 31.5 knots
Turning Circle Radius 720 m
Rudder Shift Time 13.0 s
Surface Detectability 15.1 km
Air Detectability 10.53 km
Detectability After Firing Main Guns in Smoke 12.38 km

Main Armament

2 x 4 330 mm/50 Mle 1931 on a St.Chamond Mle 1932 mount
 Maximum Firing Range 18.216 km
 Reloading Time 25.0 s
180 Degree Turn Time 36.0 s
Optimal firing angles at the front
Optimal firing angles at the rear 38°
Sigma 1.80 sigma
Maximum Dispersion 201 m
Shells
Type of Projectile  HE – 330 mm HE OEA Mle 1935
Alpha Damage 4 800
Penetration capacity  55 mm
Explosion size 1.91
Fire chance 35 %
Projectile Speed 885 m/s
Air Drag 0.293
Projectile Mass 385.0 kg
Type of Projectile AP – 330 mm AP OPfK Mle 1935
Alpha Damage 9 700
Projectile Speed 870 m/s
Air Drag 0.28
Projectile Mass 560.0 kg
Projectile Krupp 2 428
Projectile Detonator 0.033 s
Detonator threshold 55 mm
Ricochet Angles 45° – 60°

Secondary Armament

8 x 2 139 mm/50 Mle 1938 on an Mle 1938 mount
Maximum Firing Range 7.950 km
Reloading Time 7.0 s
Sigma 1.0 sigma
Shells
Type of Projectile HE – 139 mm HE OEA Mle 1928
Alpha Damage 2 000
HE penetration 23 mm
Explosion Size 0.5
Chance to Cause Fire 10 %
Projectile Speed 840 m/s
Air Drag 0.234
Projectile Mass 40.2 kg

Anti-air Armament

8 x 2 139 mm/50 Mle 1938 on an Mle 1938 mount
Sector range 0.1 km – 6.0 km
Hit chance 90 %
Sector’s damage 42
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 147
Flak clouds number 6
Flak cloud damage 1 680
4 x 2 40 mm Bofors on a Mk.1 mount
4 x 4 40 mm Bofors on a Mk.2 mount
Sector range 0.1 km – 3.5 km
Hit chance 90 %
Sector’s damage 54
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 189
18 x 2 20 mm Oerlikon on a Mk.24 mount
Sector range 0.1 km – 2.0 km
Hit chance 85 %
Sector’s damage 65
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 228

Consumables

Slot 1
Slot 2
Slot 3
Slot 4
Slot 5
Damage Control Party
consumable_PCY009_CrashCrewPremiumWork time: 5 s
Cooldown: 60 s
Defensive AA Fire

Number of charges: 3
Work time: 40 s
Cooldown: 80 s
Damage from continuous DPS: +50%
Damage from flak explosions: +300%
Fighter
Number of charges: 3
Work time: 60 s
Cooldown: 90 s
Number of fighters: 4
Patrol radius: 3.0 km
Repair Party
Number of charges: 3
Work time: 28 s
Cooldown: 80 s
HP regeneration speed: +0.5%/s
Casemate damage regeneration: 50%
Citadel damage regeneration: 33%
Main Battery Reload Booster
Number of charges: 4
Work time: 15 s
Cooldown: 80 s
Effect: -50% Main battery reload time
Hydroacoustic Search
consumable_PCY016_SonarSearchPremiumNumber of charges: 3
Work time: 100 s
Cooldown: 120 s
Torpedo spotting range: 3.5 km
Ship spotting range: 5.0 km
Engine Boost
Number of charges: 3
Work time: 180 s
Cooldown: 90 s
Speed bonus: +20%

The Armor

External armor protection:

Front and rear armor protection of the middle section:

Turtleback:

Citadel armor protection:

Turrets armor protection:

Hidden main armor deck:

Hidden armor protection inside the stern:

Personal Opinion

When it comes to Brest, I’m a bit more concerned than with Cherbourg. While she gets much stronger guns, the reload time remains excessively long, combined with the poor dispersion for a cruiser. Also, the turret traverse is worse and here, we have a big problem. Considering the sluggish turret traverse, especially with Main Battery Modification 3, the turrets won’t be able to stay on target when turning the ship. On Henri IV, you already have this issue without the improved Grease the Gears and Henri has a far worse turning radius than Brest.

For the rest, the armor protection remains suboptimal for a ship of this size and when the engine boost isn’t active, it’s the slowest cruiser of her tier.

In the end, despite having big guns, there are a lot of things that will lead to this ship dragging behind the rest of the usual damage-oriented roaming cruisers.

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